Tag Archives: Glory of God

Nature: God’s Great Blessing

All to often too many people are looking for God in far away places, whilst His wonders can be seen around us. Man may have been banned from Gan Eden, not living in a Royal Garden any more, but the Divine Creator still lets mankind feel and see what could be part of his living world.
Sources, streams, rivers, flowers and trees bear witness to His Glory.

Footsteps

This weekend, as you are reading this, I am camping with my church family. I have been looking forward to this for weeks because this is my first vacation from my job since September.

Some people hate the outdoors, but even though I grew up in the suburbs, I have always had a deep connection with nature. The outdoors has been my quiet space to think and get out of my normal activities;It is the place I go to relax and it is also one of the few places I feel closest to God.

God created everything around us, including ourselves and the people around us. He made a beautiful garden for the first people to enjoy and live in. While they did not last in the garden God created, the beauty in nature has never gone away. Nowadays, some people have to search hard and long for a place…

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Sukkoth, Gog, Magog, Armageddon, a covenant and Jerusalem

Moadim L’Simcha (Appointed Times for Joy) and Shabbat Shalom dear readers!

The joyous holiday of Sukkoth (Sukkot or Feast or Tabernacles or Feast of Booths), one of the three Pilgrim Festivals of the Hebrew Bible, is observed on the Jewish calendar dates of 15-21 Tishrei and is immediately followed by the holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The final day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabba (“Great Hosanna”) (In 2016 coming Monday and Tuesday) and with the eighth day should for Christians also be important, being it a day of Solemn Assembly, commemorating the completion of the annual cycle of readings from the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and being called Simḥat Torah (“Rejoicing of the Law”). .

The seventh day of the festival of Sukkot, considered to be the final day of the New Year’s Divine “judgment” in which the year’s fate is determined; in addition to the Four Kinds taken on the preceding days of Sukkot, an additional willow is taken on this day; it is customary to stay up all night on the eve of Hoshanah Rabbah and study Torah.

During the week long festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), the regular Parasha (Torah portion) for Shabbat is suspended, and a special Parasha pertaining to the holiday is read in synagogues around the world.

Readings for Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot
Exodus 33:12–34:26; Ezekiel 38:18–39:16; Revelation 21:1–22:21

For lovers of God the Jewish reading for today is one which should concern all, being aware of the importance of the covenant made by the Most High.

“Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord: for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”  (Exodus 34:10)

In this special Sukkot reading, Moses asks that God’s presence would go with Israel, and God agrees. The marvellous thing about God the Divine Creator is that He loves His creation so much, that when people ask Him to be with them and to go with them, God will do that. He is there for all who want Him nearby.
Encouraged by this positive response, Moses also asks to see God’s glory.  Once again, God graciously complies with his request and invites Moses to ascend Mount Sinai with two newly hewn stone tablets so that He can re-carve the Ten Commandments. Those mitzvah or commandments were given to be a guide for mankind, so that they could build up a good relationship with their Most High Maker.
It was there on that mountain that God revealed His glory to Moses in such a fearsome spectacle of power that God had to protect Moses from being destroyed by it.
“There is a place near Me where you can stand on a rock.  When My glory passes by, I will put you in an opening in the rock.  I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand.  You will see My back.  But My face must not be seen.”  (Exodus 33:21–23)
It’s clear that Moses, having experienced the power of the presence of God, understands that His presence is more than sufficient against any threat Israel might encounter inside or outside of the Promised Land.
This is a great prospect for God’s nation. We also know now that God promised Abraham that his seed and sons by faith, would come to live in the Holy Land. In the end all Jews, the children of Abraham, will find their Holy Nation there and find Jerusalem to be the capital of the nation of God’s people. They would be sent in exile and have to endure lots of problems throughout history, but there shall come a time when they shall be all united under God’s Kingdom. God will gather His People to their own land and the whole world shall come to know it.
The world shall have to come to hear that Israel shall be restored and that also others came to know the Law of God and shall be willing to live according the covenant also brought to them by the sent one from God, rabbi Jeshua, the son of man and son of God, who gave his life as a ransom payment for all sinners, so that all people could come back to God to be His children. He provided a new covenant, one of reconciliation.
But we should take heed, God has given a warning that terrible times shall come  over the world. The Restoration of Israel shall be challenged.
“This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, My hot anger will be aroused.”  (Ezekiel 38:18)
In the Haftarah (prophetic portion) for this Shabbat Chol Hamoed (intermediate day of the festival) of Sukkot, the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel describes an end-time scenario in which formidable armies from the north, under the leadership of Gog, will challenge the restoration of Israel.
Gog (left) and Magog, wooden effigies in the Guildhall, London

Gog (left) and Magog, wooden effigies in the Guildhall, London – Courtesy of the British Tourist Authority

Gog is a chief prince living in the land of Magog (Ezekiel 38:2).  Many scholars believe Magog refers to Russia.  The invading land of Gomer is often believed to be Germany.

Several lands in the coalition army are easily identifiable: Iran (Persia), Northern Sudan (ancient Ethiopia or Cush), Libya (Put), and Turkey (Togarmah).
Last year at this time, Russia made significant moves into the Middle East, reportedly to fight against ISIS.  Last week, however, it negotiated its first “permanent” air base in the region at Khmeimim, Syria and its naval base in Tartus, Syria will soon become “permanent” as well.
Russia also recently installed its S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system in Syria and completed the transfer of the system to Iran last month.
In effect, Russia has become a major military broker in the region.  It is right now on the doorstep of Israel, and it plans to stay.
The nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 will unite and come upon Israel “like a cloud that covers the land” for the purpose of looting the wealth that she has amassed in what was a desolate land only seventy years ago.
Yet, God will not abandon His People.  He will utterly destroy the coalition forces of Gog so that all nations will come to know the holiness of the Lord (Ezekiel 38:18–23).
The forces that come against Israel will be so large in their day of defeat that Gog’s weaponry will provide fuel for Israel for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9).
“They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel.  And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD.”  (Ezekiel 39:10)
Moreover, so many soldiers will die in this battle that it will take seven months for Israel to bury them all and cleanse their land (Ezekiel 39:12).

A man carries a Torah scroll that is protected by a silver Torah tik (case) during Sukkot at the Western Wall.

The Jews read about this end-time battle during Sukkot, because according to Rabbinic tradition, this war will be waged during the month of Tishri, the month in which the holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) falls.

Interestingly enough, the war that is described in Ezekiel is similar to the war described in the 14th chapter of Zechariah, the Haftarah reading on the first day of Sukkot.  And in Zechariah we learn that the Gentiles who survive the war against Israel will be required to keep Sukkot annually by coming up to the Holy City of Jerusalem to worship the Lord.
“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkot].  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.”  (Zechariah 14:1617)
This should give us food to think about the matter of feasts and holidays we do have to partake.

Sukkot at the Western (Wailing) Wall.

 

 

Psalm 27 presents a clear connection between Sukkot and God’s protection of Israel and those who trust in Him:
“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle [sukkah]; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.”  (Psalm 27:5)
The word translated here as tabernacle is the Hebrew word sukkah (סכה)When evil threatens God’s people, He will hide them in His sukkah, inaccessible from the enemy on the rock of His presence.
Now that is a promise we can trust in during these last days!

 

The Battle of Armageddon

“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison, and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth — Gog and Magog — to gather them for battle.”  (Revelation 20:78)
Gog and Magog are also mentioned in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) in connection with Armageddon and the final battle between the forces of good and evil.
This war with Gog and Magog is not the same war described in Ezekiel 38 but a final end-time battle after the thousand-year reign of Jeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).
The Son of David, Jeshua, will come again — this time as our conquering Messiah to defeat the invading forces forever.  All who have believed in their Saviour, Jeshua, will inherit eternity in God’s Kingdom of which the New Jerusalem shall be the capital of a revived Garden of Eden complete with trees of life and pure living water that will be good to eat and drink forever.

Ancient ruins atop Har Meggido in Israel

Armageddon is mentioned only once in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) in chapter 16 of the Book of Revelation.
“They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty….  Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”  (Revelation 16:14, 16)
The word Armageddon is derived from Har Magedon (meaning mountain of Megiddo) and is mentioned many times in the Tanakh (Old Testament).
Megiddo is derived from the Hebrew word gadad, meaning to penetrate, muster troops together, perhaps even invade.
In this end-time invasion, we once again see Israel’s enemies mounting a war against Jerusalem.  This time, however, we see the spiritual forces behind the rebellion against God:
“They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.”  (Revelation 9:11)
The words Abaddon and Apollyon mean Destroyer.
And this time, God pours out on the Destroyer and all rebels the full extent of His judgment, including everlasting torment for Satan, the beast and the false prophet.
“They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.  But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  And Satan, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.  They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:910)
With an Outstretched Arm
As we read how God will hurl His fury against Gog with pestilence and with blood, floods, giant hailstones, fire and brimstone, it’s easy to see from this Haftarah portion that God is furious with those who come against the Land of Israel(Ezekiel 38:22).
In fact, there are several parallels between God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt long ago and His future deliverance of Israel from Gog in the end times.  In both, we see that God saves and rescues Israel with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm.
The phrase with a strong hand and an outstretched arm (בְּיָ֣ד חֲ֭זָקָה וּבִזְר֣וֹעַ נְטוּיָ֑ה) has special meaning in Jewish tradition.  It represents God using His power on behalf of His people.  The “arm of the Lord” also represents His salvation, which in Hebrew is Jeshua.
“You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror.”  (Jeremiah 32:21, see also Deuteronomy 4:34; 26:8; Exodus 6:6)
As Russia expands its influence in the region and neighboring nations plot to annihilate Israel, there is certainly evidence that Ezekiel 38 is on the horizon.  Yet, this Sukkot Parasha reveals that God’s Divine Sheltering Presence over Israel has not ended but will continue past the end of this age.
God is not finished with the Jewish People and Israel.  This is plainly evident when we consider how Bible Prophecy concerning Israel is being fulfilled during these end times before our very eyes.
The Brit Chadashah (New Covenant) also tells us that God’s plan to reach out to the nations through Israel did not end with the death and resurrection of Messiah, but continues to this day and will in the world to come:
“For if their casting Yeshua [Jesus] aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting Him mean?  It will be life from the dead!”  (Romans 11:15)
The Book of Romans promises that when the Jewish People come to know Jeshua, it will be like life from the dead for the world.
Before this can happen, however, they must first hear the Good News of Jeshua!
“How can they call on Him unless they believe in Him?  How can they believe in Him unless they hear about Him?  How can they hear about Him unless someone preaches to them?”  (Romans 10:14)
It is up to the followers of Jeshua to follow up the task given by this master, rabbi Jeshua. Therefore Christians, being aware that the times are coming closer, should make work of it, spreading the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.
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With thanks to the Messianic Bible
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Additional reading

  1. Ninth of Av
  2. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  3. Jerusalem God’s City for ever
  4. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  5. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  6. Holy land Christian exodus
  7. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  8. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  9. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  10. Ransom for all
  11. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  12. Bringing into safety from Irak and Iran
  13. 2015 the year of ISIS
  14. This Week’s Developments in Weekly World Watch 15-21 July
  15. The promise a guarantee of something and the heir that is going to have
  16. Chemical warsite and Pushing king of the South

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Further reading

  1. Understanding the Battle of Gog and Magog
  2. Trend Update: Burden of Damascus/Russian Embassy Takes Fire, October 2016
  3. Zork Nemesis – The Forbidden Lands
  4. War is upon us!
  5. Russia, Iran, and The War with Israel
  6. The Coming War
  7. Ezekiel blog: My version of the end of the world, part I
  8. Ezekiel blog: My version of the end of the world Part II
  9. Who are the real Gog and Magog in prophecy?
  10. Less of Me
  11. “My Relationship with Jesus Christ”
  12. Trend Update: Ezekiel 38-39/Magog (Russia)/Golan Heights, Passover 2016
  13. Alliance Formation

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God’s Finger Painting ~

To be able to look for God and to find them we do have to be willing to love Him.

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Deborah Ann Belka looks at the moments she loves when God starts to finger paint glorious colors with no holds or restraint and the glory of God did lighten it.

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

God's FInger Painting ~ CHRISTian poetry by deborah ann

I love when God,
starts to finger paint
Autumn’s glorious colors
with no holds or restraint.

The colors splash about,
vibrant shades of red
mingled with shiny slivers
of brilliant golden thread.

The streets begin to smear,
with crispy yellow leaves
until they do their wind dance
onto moonless roads they cleave.

As the rain begins to fall,
the colors seems to run
smeared across the horizon
now hidden by the cloudy sun.

I love when God,
fingers begin their painting
they remind me of the glory
for me, He has waiting!

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Revelation 21:23

“And the city had no need of the sun,
neither of the moon, to shine in it:
for the glory of God did lighten it,
and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2016
Deborah Ann Belka

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100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 56

Jesus called man to follow him as The Way to God. He warned us for not to be mistaken and thinking that by grace we would be saved and have nothing to do any more. Jesus himself gave already some tasks we should do and gave enough examples of people who missed the opportunity to enter the Lord’s house.

Like Jesus, who did not want to do his own will (which he would have done in case he would be God), we too should try to do the Will of our heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the God of Christ and his disciples. The God of Jews Who should also be the God of Christians and God of Muslims but also should become the God of love of our world. this can only happen when people continue the work Jesus asked his followers to do, to go out in the world and to proclaim the Works of God and to tell them the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

In case we want to be proper children of God, we have to honour Him and appreciate Him for what He has done for us and for what He still can mean for us. Him we do have to praise in Christ. By following the teachings of rabbi Jeshua we have to show the world we do not want to be from it but that we want to be of God, whitewashed by the innocent blood of Christ.

Let us live accordingly, saying thanks to God and asking for guiding us throughout our life and helping us to call others in the name of Christ.

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To remember

  • seen a strong-willed child + wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis
  • strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning => Parents + grandparents quickly recognize dominant personality traits
  • certain things each of us been good at ever since we were little kids
  • with some training = potential to use it for good
  • in adult business world = gift of reading people well => selling your product
  • God has a great purpose for the strategic thinker!
  • In Scripture example of Aaron > leading people according to God’s divine direction
  • people grew impatient + asked Aaron to make a god for them => he did = fashioned a calf idol from their donated gold, + they had a pagan- style celebration of their new god.
  • Aaron had great potential for leading people in worship > however, he was mistaken in solving their need, +, in the process, misled the entire community!

That is also what we see today. Many have made their own idols into a god. Lots of Christians also made Jesus into their own god. For them it seems a nice solution though lots of them do not understand quite really the matter of the trinity and the biblical saying we should only have One True God, the Eternal Spirit and Adonai, Elohim Hashem Maker Jehovah.

  • Israel’s actions angered God => see mercy of God => gave them another chance
  • God selected Aaron to be the first of the Levitical line of Israel’s priesthood
  • men who would be separated unto God to live holy lives + to bring God’s people into holy communion with Him through worship according to His Word

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  • Aaron gifted in leading others in worship.

What about you? Child of God <= created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do (See Ephesians 2:10)

  • Through the Spirit’s empowerment => strength = powerful tool for revealing glory of God in the earth
  • gifts of the Spirit work in and through you => reveal God’s goodness > excelling natural abilities => supernatural gifts

Jesus said

“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Walk It Out     Hear God’s Word + put it into practice (Luke 8:21)

Align life with God’s purpose = giving Him your “yes.” => Walk in the way He leads you with complete trust => His Presence + empowerment through Holy Spirit accomplish good works in + through you.

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Preceding

  1. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do
  2. The works we have to do according to James the brother of Christ
  3. Leading people astray!
  4. Restitution
  5. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  6. Luther’s misunderstanding
  7. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  8. Our life depending on faith
  9. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  10. Is Justification a process?
  11. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  12. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  13. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  14. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  15. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  16. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  17. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  18. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  19. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  20. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

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Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait
  35. A call easy to understand

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sharing love and truth

Day 56

You Are Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Works (Ephesians 2:10)

Have you ever seen a strong-willed child and wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis? Maybe you were that strong-willed child, or perhaps you’re raising one! It amazes me how the strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning. Parents and grandparents quickly recognize the dominant personality traits. My response to such observations- “God has a great purpose for that!”

There are certain things that each of us has been good at ever since we were little kids. Maybe we didn’t use the gift for good, but we were certainly good at it, and with some training, we had potential to use it for good. Take, for instance, the child who can strategize and work a situation to turn in his favor… Sure, it’s manipulation at its finest, but in…

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Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

The Christadelphian Agora comments

Reading 3 – Rom 3:9,10

“What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’ ” (Rom 3:9,10).

“Our guilt is great because our sins are exceedingly numerous. It is not merely outward acts of unkindness and dishonesty with which we are chargeable. Our habitual and characteristic state of mind is evil in the sight of God.

“Our pride and indifference to His will and to the welfare of others and our loving the creature more than the Creator are continuous violations of His holy law. We have never been or done what that law requires us to be and to do. We have never had delight in that fixed purpose to do the will and promote the glory of God. We are always sinners; we are at all times and under all circumstances in opposition to God.

“If we have never loved Him supremely, if we have never made it our purpose to do His will, if we have never made His glory the end of our actions, then our lives have been an unbroken series of transgressions. Our sins are not to be numbered by the conscious violations of duty; they are as numerous as the moments of our existence” (Charles Hodge).

Peter Forbes comments:

3:2  If the Jews had a benefit simply because the Word of God was committed to them how do we view that same word? Do we feel privileged simply because we can read Scripture freely in our own tongue?

3:3 Paul (2Tim 2:13) develops the principles of this verse for the benefit of Timothy. – We have noted before that David’s Psalm (32) is used by Paul to speak of the way in which God forgives. Reflecting on what David had done – committed adultery and murdered a man – we probably cannot think of two more evil crimes. But it is these two crimes which God forgave which forms the basis of Paul’s encouragement to us.

David and Bathsheba, by Henry Bone (died 1834)...

David and Bathsheba, by Henry Bone (died 1834). See source website for additional information. This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery, London website using a special tool. All images in this batch have been confirmed as author died before 1939 according to the official death date listed by the NPG. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:4 The quotation ‘that thou mightest be justified …‘ from Psalm 51:4 marks the beginning of an appeal to the repentance of David after his adultery with Bathsheba – see the title of the Psalm. This incident in David’s life, as terrible as it was, marks the magnitude of the Father’s forgiveness towards a repentant sinner. More notes on this in Romans 4.

3:4‘that thou … art judged’ is a quotation from Psa 51:4 That Psalm is a Psalm speaking specifically of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Paul highlights that the Psalm, though specifically speaking to David, actually has a general application to all.

3:5 This is the first of a number of occasions when Paul asks a question which he then answers himself. The others are Rom 4:1,  6:1, 7:7

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most...

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries, who called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul, a Hellenistic Jew, was very influential on the shift of Christianity to Gentile dominated movement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:7-8   The “lie” that Paul is thinking about is the charge laid on him by others that he said “Let us do evil that good may come”.

3:8  The charge laid on Paul is similar to the hypothetical question he asks in Rom 6:1.

3:9     The teaching of Paul that we ‘are all under sin’ is quoted by Paul later – Gal 3:22–This is one of many times where Paul quotes elements of this letter to the Romans to other churches. Thus we see that Romans seems to be a letter that many of the other churches were aware of.

3:19 The phrase ‘every mouth may be stopped’ echoes the sentiments of Psa 107:42 thus demonstrating that the teaching that all men are sinners is not confined to the New Testament but is a clear Old Testament teaching.

3:23,24 These adjacent verses are at the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the mind of man is concerned. One has to recognise the situation outlined in v 23 before one can be in the state described in v 24. Justification is only available to those who recognise their own personal need for salvation.

3:25-26        We should reflect carefully on the fact that God’s righteousness is seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our God is not a vindictive cruel God. Rather, as shown by the way He responded to Jesus’ obedience, He is merciful – which we should appreciate anyway because of the way in which He describes Himself –Exo 34:6-7

3:31   To the Jew the idea that the Law of Moses was no longer the route to pleasing God (if it ever was) was a major problem. So they needed to know that ‘faith’ did not remove the need for obedience

Peter Cresswell comments

English: manuscript of the Epistle to the Roma...

manuscript of the Epistle to the Romans (fragment) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:4 – Here we see a principle that we cannot ignore.  Let God be true is a clear instruction to us not to make God into what we think He should be – not to impose on Him what we feel are the qualities of a god, but instead to open our minds to let Him show us what he really is in truth.  We are still on the theme from the previous chapters which tell us how to avoid being like those whose worship is distorted.  Let us take heed, as through this we can be justified by faith, as we are being prepared to learn next.

3:20 tells us that the law can’t save because by it there is knowledge of sin.  This shows us that the law is inextricably tied up with the original curse – that we should know good and evil.  At the end this curse will be removed and we will know only good.  We do well to remember that this knowledge of good and evil is a curse, not a privilege.  One day, those who are saved, will leave it far behind.  One could argue that by God’s grace, we already have – 5:21, 6:7 – but in that day it will be actual.  Evil will no longer be remembered or contemplated or come into mind.  We must ask ourselves: Are we ready to leave behind the choice to do evil, without looking back, or do we still consider it a privilege?

Cliff York comments

Romans 3:9 – “for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” – in chapters one and two. Paul painted a word picture, first of the Gentile world – Romans 1 – then the Jewish world, which was even worse, for they had access to God’s righteousness – Romans 2.

v12-18 – Paul describes the cadaver of sin. As Paul’s scalpel opens up the body of sin, first the throat, then the tongue, lips, mouth, feet, and eyes are laid bare and examined – Hebrews 4:12-13. And Paul’s conclusion is given in v23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  What does this tell us? We all need Jesus Christ. No-one will be in God’s Kingdom who has not entrusted his life and his salvation to the only name given among men whereby they might be saved – Acts 4:12.

John Wilson comments

Rom 3:25  “to declare his  righteousness.” Christ, the bearer of the sins of the people. Not that Christ might be punished for others, but that God’s righteousness might be declared for others to see that they might be forgiven.

David Simpson comments

Rom 3:9-20 has at least 7 quotations from the Psalms, and one from Isaiah. Then in Rom 4 we can find 7 times when Abraham’s name is written.  There is no doubt, is there, where the Gospel’s foundation is laid?

Valerie Mello comments

Rom 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

A reader writes: “even though our Lord did not commit one single sin – even of omission, he still Came Short of the glory of Yahweh – by his very mortality that he inherited by his birth of a mortal woman – meaning he had to make atonement by his death for his ‘falling short’ of the glory of Yahweh by reason of his birth by a mortal woman who, wonderful as she was, still possessed a sin-prone nature herself.”

My reply: In Rom 1, Paul pointed out mankind’s refusal to acknowledge God and God’s truth and how God gave mankind over to their lusts and the practice of sin. Then in Rom 2, Paul describes God’s judgment on both the Gentiles and the Jews. In Rom 3, Paul sums up his argument and makes it clear that all of mankind is under sin and that “every mouth will be silenced and the whole world will be held accountable to God.” With regard to God’s judgment there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, rich or poor, priest or beggar, businessmen or drunk, churchgoer and atheist, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It does not say or imply that Christ because of his human nature fell short of God’s glory!

In Rom 3:22, we read that the righteousness of God is by faith in Jesus Christ to “all” – that is, mankind in general, Jews and Gentiles, “unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference” (cf. vv. 21,23). To fall short of the glory of God is to be in need of righteousness, a righteousness imputed to us by God through Christ (2Cor 5:21).

In Matt 5:20, we are warned that our righteousness must exceed those of the Pharisees. What Jesus is telling us is that it is not enough to submit to mere outward conformity as characterized by the Pharisees, but that it must be of both inward and outward conformity. Obeying the Law was more than just abstaining from killing, or stealing, etc., it also dealt with our inward being. So it is with us under the Law of Christ, and we can only exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees if we submit to Christ. Our own righteousness will never be good enough no matter how hard we try (cf. Isa 64:6).

Jesus was the only one who could lead a perfect life to the law of God in thought, word, and deed. Jesus’ mission was not simply to die on the cross. He had to be the Lamb without blemish, without sin. He had to live a life of perfect obedience, which he did and became the righteousness of God and, thus, could not have fallen short of God’s glory. Irrespective of Christ’s human sin-prone nature, he did not fall short, but continued in all things that were written in the book of the law to do them, otherwise, how could his righteousness be imputed to us, irrespective of our human nature (cf. 1Pet 5:10)? Christ was the perfect sacrifice and we can be made perfect only in him. We are to be Christ-like (cf. 2Cor 3:18).

Christ’s passive obedience (Isa 53:7) pays our sin debt and his active obedience of a sinless life gives us the perfection required by God if we submit (cf. Matt 5:48). What is required of us is active and passive obedience to Christ. Jesus came to undo what Adam did in committing and omitting, by which his character was tarnished and sin entered the flesh and passed on to his descendants – his sin was imputed to us (Rom 5:17-19). This was man’s fall from glory and made him in need of glory.  Man was created in God’s image for God’s glory (1Cor 11:7; Isa 43:7). Christ came to restore for us what Adam lost. We must have Christ’s righteousness, active and passive, transforming us from sinners who fell short of the glory of God to saints of God who fulfill the glory of God in Christ, or God will not accept us.

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Preceding articles

Elul Observances

To find ways of Godly understanding

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Continue reading: Additional comments to the 4th Letter to the Romans

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Additional reading

  1. Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  6. The seven last sayings of Christ discussed in the new edition of the Christadelphian
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  8. God’s wrath and sanctification
  9. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  10. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  11. Atonement and the race been bought
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. 138) Cheap Grace
  14. Christianity without the Trinity
  15. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  16. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  17. Growth in character
  18. Love is like playing the piano
  19. Forgiveness is a blessing for the one who forgives
  20. He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass
  21. Forgiveness always possible
  22. A man who cannot forgive others
  23. Answering a fool according to his folly
  24. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  25. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  26. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  27. Breathing to teach

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Further readings

  1. The creation of Earth and Man, the fall of Man, the cursed Earth, the redemption of Man, the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of Man, the New Earth
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. Joseph and the justification of evil/sin
  4. Law and Grace
  5. Justification, Sanctification and Perseverance – By Grace through Faith
  6. Justification is by faith
  7. Why Justifying yourself is Destroying you!
  8. Are Good Works Necessary for Salvation?
  9. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  10. Theories of Atonement: Recapitulation Theory
  11. Practical Theology
  12. Michael Horton Differentiates Law and Gospel
  13. Old and New Perspectives on Paul: A Third Way?
  14. Why the Law? Part 2
  15. The Justified Dead
  16. It’s not about you
  17. Reflective Paragraphs Week 4 – Romans 3
  18. Romans 3
  19. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:1-8
  20. Romans 3:9
  21. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:9-20
  22. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:21-31
  23. “And where does that leave our proud religious claim of having a corner on God? Canceled.” ~~Apostle Paul
  24. The Best Way to “Stand Up” For Jesus: Revisiting Romans
  25. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  26. Nullify the Torah?
  27. Under The Law
  28. Psalm 57 – As a Deaf Adder; A Sermon Preached at the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church – Sunday, October 18, 2015
  29. Apart From The Law Of Righteousness
  30. Confessions of a Hypocrite
  31. You are without excuse
  32. Are we good?
  33. More Fashionable Fig Leaves
  34. Elihu – A Word for young leaders
  35. Salvation & Obedience
  36. Would Your Faith Save You?
  37. Let Go of the Ladder
  38. The Playing Field Is Level!
  39. My Utmost For His Highest: The Nature Of Reconciliation
  40. Obedience apart from Christ won’t justify
  41. That One Sin!
  42. The Only Martyr
  43. we’re all “heirs according to the promise” – but we all fall short
  44. Everybody needs Jesus
  45. Rub Your Eyes (Rondel Grande)
  46. Romans Devotional- Day 25
  47. The Anatomy Of God
  48. When Perfect Is Not A Good Thing – Part 1
  49. When Perfect Is Not A Good Thing – Part 2
  50. Is just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned the true meaning of justification?
  51. My Sinfulness
  52. If you love yourself….
  53. Good Behavior
  54. God is righteous and just (God is good 4)
  55. PT. 9 (The end) You are justified in Christ
  56. Day 11: I Declare My Righteousness Is In Christ Jesus
  57. Subjected For Our Sake.
  58. Guilt & Shame Misapplied
  59. God Glories in Making You Righteous
  60. Our Comforter is our Peace
  61. We Distinguish…(Part 5) — Active/Passive Obedience
  62. We Distinguish…(Part 6) — Moral/Ceremonial/Civil
  63. Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God
  64. Do I seek approval?

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Helping each other with prayer to start the new academic year

It is a tragedy, as we will read tomorrow, that

“the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel …” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

We have no other choice than to live in this world where so many are blinded. We also do have to do with the many pains we may have to endure. Though we should know many pains and discomforts could be helped to be lessened or being softened by others.
Each of us is here in this world to help the other. Though not many are interested in doing that.

File:2014 – 2015 school year opening ceremony at Hanoi – Amsterdam High School (20140905 065058).jpg

2014 – 2015 school year opening ceremony at Hanoi – Amsterdam High School

Once again a new academic year has started and we are off again on the roads, having the children back to school, having the parents back to work after their Summer holiday.

How many of them can see which wondrous blessings we have that

“God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’,

has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? (verse 6).

2 Corinthians 4:5-10 UKJV  (5)  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  (6)  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  (7)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  (8)  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  (9)  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  (10)  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Our world was created out of the void when there was only darkness, but God called for light. That ‘light’ shone physically as creation began so long ago, but the wondrous fact for us is, as we will read in chapter 5,

“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (verse 17).

The apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians makes so many points which also requires our attention in this 21st century. He shows the interaction of events and the great value of prayers in all the difficulties they and he are experiencing.

All the kids who went back, or for the first time to a ‘new’ school’ shall have to learn to face different situations which are not always pleasant. Even for those who became a Christian there is no escape, they too shall have to share abundantly in Christ’s suffering. But we can give our kids some hope because we also do know that through Christ, we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Corinthians 1:2-5 UKJV  (2)  Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  (3)  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  (4)  Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  (5)  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ.

It is, writes Paul,

“the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction …” (verses 3,4).

This is a comfort we have a responsibility to pass on to others.

This passing on to others is too much and too often forgotten. Many do want to have the blessings, but do not want to do anything in return. They want the grace but do not ask them to tell others about it.

To find people who are willing to preach is very difficult. To find people who are willing to share their knowledge about certain things of this world, like geography, history, ways of constructing a house, or how to keep a healthy family seems to be very difficult. For some time we have been looking for some extra writers on this website, though nobody seems to be interested to join us and to share his or her knowledge for free.

Let us meditate and reflect on the interaction of events we have personally experienced. It seems when we start talking about God and about his son and show others our love for them, we seem to get a negative response and to be kept aside. Suddenly co-operation or interest seems to stop at all sides.
The more we have been active in the service of Christ, the more clearly we will perceive this.

In Paul, the Corinthians saw the most outstanding example of service.

“The afflictions we experienced”,

writes Paul, was such that they were so utterly burdened beyond their strength that they despaired of life itself. We in our regions do not have to be worried so much about that, but several people in several countries, like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and many African countries are facing prosecution. We may not be unaware of the affliction many experienced in Asia and Africa.

2 Corinthians 1:6-8 UKJV  (6)  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  (7)  And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as all of you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall all of you be also of the consolation.  (8)  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

We, in our safer regions also have to undergo problems, shunning and are not always facing a nice life. But we have set our hope that Jesus will return and that he and his God, Who is also our God (the God of Abraham), will deliver us again. Though we have to remember that like at the time of the apostles,  they had to be helped by prayer, so that many will give thanks on their behalf for the blessing granted them through the prayers of many, we too need such help.

2 Corinthians 1:9-10 UKJV  (9)  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead:  (10)  Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

We cannot just rely on people. We like Paul have to realize that we must rely not on ourselves but on God (verse 9).

2 Corinthians 1:9-11 UKJV  (9)  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead:  (10)  Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;  (11)  All of you also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

Having set our hope that he will deliver us again, (verse 10), does not mean that we do not need each other, and that we should not help each other. We still have to be loving for each other and helping each other.

Paul makes an appeal that we should specially take notice of. He tells the Corinthians,

2 Corinthians 1:11-12 UKJV  (11)  All of you also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.  (12)  For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

Other apostles came with similar requests to their flock.

Romans 15:30-32 UKJV  Now I plead to you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love (o. agape) of the Spirit, (o. pneuma) that all of you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;  (31)  That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;  (32)  That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.

As in the early centuries of this common era there was a need of preaching, the apostles going around in the region to tell the Good News, we too today need some people full of hope who are willing to go into the ‘fields’ and to let others know about that Good News. We do want to tell others the Gospel of the Good News, but we too need help from others. We can use some backing.
Not only could we use some additional authors willing to share writings with people from all over the world. We, like the apostles need also your help with prayer.

As the apostles asked for help we also dare to say like the apostle Paul did:

“You also must help us by prayer so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us by the prayers of many” (verse 11).

Many are aware today through the almost instant communication the internet provides of the desperate situations some Iranian believers have experienced. There are also Pakistani believers who are experiencing persecution, and a few truth seekers who have felt it wise to return to Afghanistan. Let us help them by prayer.

Also, may we, as Paul writes in chapter 2, spread

“the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved …” (verses 14,15).

We may be unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish, but should we also not show that we are willing to step in the footsteps of that masterful rabbi?

As of God, in the sight of God we should not hesitate to speak in Christ and to show others the Way to God.

It is not because we can see so much tragedy, having so many people living in a way God would turn His eyes away, that we can not live according to His ordinances and want to show others there is a different way than the way this world has chosen.

On this platform we do want to show others this different way. To do it just on our own is not so easy. We could do with some extra hands.

Everybody has some field in which he or she is good. So everybody should be able to find something to write about which could be enlightening and educating for the others.

Having a new academic year, would this not be a good start to provide your input?

From your professionalism is there nothing you can contribute to our community and to bring some more knowledge to others, believers and non-believers in God?

Is the time not ripe to take up the pen and to join those who believe we should share more with others? It is out of love that we should share more with others. And believe it, there is lots to share about, and it has not all to do with religion.

In case you are not good at writing, you too can help, by praying for us and by letting others know our site. Promotion is always something that can help as well and motivate to continue our work. (Be sure it does not harm to motivate others now and a while.)

We do hope we can go into a fruitful new academic year in which we shall find some interested souls to join us and to share with us the love for this globe where we may reside in peace.

Please do pray for all those in need and also pray for our work, that we also may reach people in need and help them.

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You may find about prayer:

Praying and thinking positively

Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything

God, my father, my closest friend

Laboring in the Vineyard or Sitting on the Hillside with Jonah?

What moves mountains?

 Trust!

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Additional readings:

  1. Walking alone?7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  2. Natural inclinations and Praying and asking
  3. Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing
  4. Praying is surrendering in all circumstances
  5. Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers
  6. Be vigilant with a view to prayers
  7. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  9. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  10. Being sure of their deliverance
  11. Old Man of Prayer
  12. Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  15. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  17. Praise Jehovah
  18. Always rejoicing
  19. Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything

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Further reading of interest:

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